8 March 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Over half (54%) of FREE NOW taxi drivers plan to make the switch to Electric vehicles (EV) when they purchase their next vehicle and 29% intend to purchase a hybrid vehicle, according to new research from FREE NOW, Ireland’s leading multi-mobility app. The research conducted among driver partners also found that 59% say being more environmentally friendly is a key reason for switching, and 55% are encouraged to go electric as a result of new grants and incentives available.
To support taxi drivers in Cork with the transition to EVs, FREE NOW is hosting an EV Roadshow at the Cork City Gaol on Tuesday, 8th of March. This event is the first of its kind in Cork and is part of several roadshows that will travel around Ireland over the coming weeks and months to provide drivers with information and support on making the switch to electric.
The free to attend event forms part of FREE NOW’s ongoing commitment to support drivers in their transition to electric vehicles and help FREE NOW realise its ambition of achieving 50% fully electric vehicle rides by 2025 and to be the first mobility platform in Europe to reach Net-Zero emissions by 2030.
Passengers have the option of selecting ECO (hybrid or electric vehicle) when booking trips with FREE NOW, allowing them to choose a more sustainable way to travel while also offsetting carbon emissions. The ECO booking option launched in Cork in September last year and since launching there has been a 50% increase in passengers choosing ECO in Q1 2022 versus Q4 2021, showing growth in consumer preference for sustainable options.
At present 30% of vehicles available on the FREE NOW app are ECO (either hybrid or electric) and this number is growing with FREE NOW currently welcoming 10-20 Battery Electric Vehicles to the fleet every week.
Commenting on the EV Roadshow, Denis Fogarty, Regional Development Manager in Munster for FREE NOW Ireland said: “We are excited to bring our EV roadshow to Cork for the first time. Driver partners in Cork and the surrounding areas will have the opportunity to learn more about EVs, the grants available and explore the vehicle options available to drivers.
Since launching our ECO booking option in Cork last September, we have seen a growing demand from passengers in Cork for sustainable transport options and we want to help drivers make the switch and understand the benefits of investing in EVs.”
Fiona Brady, Head of Operations & Public Affairs for FREE NOW Ireland commented: “At FREE NOW we understand that we play an important role in supporting the national effort to build a more sustainable transport network.
We have been operating in Cork for almost 10 years and it is the first stop on our EV roadshow route this year after a successful launch in Dublin in 2021. We will also host roadshows in Galway and Limerick in the coming weeks.
Along with the EV roadshow series, we also have several support initiatives in place for our driver partners including: a dedicated EV Expert Switch Team that provides advice and resources to drivers, and a FREE NOW EV Home Charger Grant Match Scheme which offers financial support to drivers to purchase home chargers. Our partner drivers who are thinking of making the transition to electric vehicles will be able to ask questions on the day as we support them in this journey.”
FREE NOW Drivers in Cork can register to attend the event by heading over to their Newsfeed within their FREE NOW Driver app and the invitation extends to all taxi drivers in the Cork region who may be interested in speaking to the FREE NOW team about joining as a driver partner.